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Rents slow in Manhattan, rise in Brooklyn

Manhattan rental rates now seem to be conforming to the laws of gravity, with its ascent slowing after a long winning streak.

Rent prices in the borough rose slightly in February, nearly marking the end to two years of increases.
According to the latest market report from Douglas Elliman, the median rental price in the borough rose by just 0.2 percent to $3,382 compared to the same month the previous year. The modest rise barely kept a 24-month long streak of growth alive.

Hal Gravzie, the executive manger of leasing at Douglas Elliman, downplayed the figures, saying that the modest gains are just the symptom of “seasonality.”

“February is really typically one of the slowest times on the leasing side… There’s always that slowdown from November through February. That’s definitely the softest part of the market,” he said.

“I think it’s really just your typical slowdown in seasonality. I don’t there’s not much more involved in it. I think price points have increased quite a bit and I think that slowdown was expected.”

The report found that the pace of rent increases have been cooling since August. Also, the small increase in rental prices resulted in concessions reaching a five-and-a-half year high. For the month, the average rental price in the borough dropped by one percent to $4,032 compared to the same period last year.

Also, units spent an average of 56 days on the market. The figure represents a 14.3 percent jump from the same period a year ago.

The rental rates in the outer boroughs mostly moved in the opposite direction of Manhattan prices. In Brooklyn, the median rental price rose 7.3 percent to $2,787 compared to the same month last year.

However, that figure represents a 0.6 percent drop from the previous month. Meanwhile, Queens posted a 6.8 percent in median rental price to $2,954.

In spite of the microscopic rise in Manhattan rates, Gravzie expects “things to really pick up” over the next 30 days.

“At the levels that we saw a couple of years ago, maybe not. But I don’t think it’s going to continue going down,” he said

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